Using Heat Gun to Remove Paint from Metal Easily

heat gun to remove paint from metal

Looking for how to use a heat gun to remove paint from metal surfaces?. Perfect, then you’ve come to the right place.  In this DIY guide, you can expect to learn the following:

  • What a heat gun is
  • How does a heat gun work?
  • Safety precautions when using a heat gun
  • How to remove paint from metal using a heat gun
  • The top best heat guns for removing paint from metal surfaces

heat gun to remove paint from metal

Removing paint from metal using a heat gun is an easy and straightforward process provided you following the necessary instructions giving by the manufacturer.

This is because the heat applied to the painted surface causes the paint to loosen up for you to easily scrape off and clean it with mineral spirit later.

A heat gun is a great way of removing oil-based paint without using chemical paint strippers. If you want a quick and easy paint removal from the surface, then a heat gun is the best tool for the job.

Also Read:

How to use vinegar to remove paint from bricks

What is a Heat Gun and How Does It Work?

A heat gun is an electric hand tool that looks similar to a hairdryer. It is used to emit a stream of hot air usually at temperatures between 100 °C and 550 °C (200-1000 °F), with some hotter models running around 760 °C (1400 °F) and is mostly hand-held.

Heat guns have the form of an elongated body pointing at what is to be heated with a handle fixed to it at right angles and a trigger.

In simple terms, the way a heat gun work is that it has an operating fan that pulls in the air into the body of the tool and it drives it across an electric heating element and out through a nozzle. A heat gun can also be referred to as hot air guns.

A heat gun comprises a source of heat, usually an electrically heated element, but sometimes a gas flame; a mechanic to move the hot air such as an electric fan, a nozzle to direct the air, which may be a simple tube pointing in one direction, or specially shaped for concentrating the heat on a small area. and housing to contain the components and the controls.

This a basic constitution of the heat gun.

Safety Precautions When Using a Heat Gun

Whether you are is your first time using a heat gun or not, it is important to always take the necessary safety precautions to protect yourself, other people, and pets around you.

Below are some safety tips to guide you when using this device to avoid problems.

  • Ensure the space you are working at is well ventilated as the paint fumes and hot metal-air may be hazardous to your health.
  • Clear the space off any flammable materials, kids, pets, elders, etc.
  • Cover the flooring beneath your work area.
  • Wear heat-resistant gloves to protect your hands as working with heated paint can get messy.
  • After the heated metal paint is removed, allow the metal to cool down before using the mineral spirit.
  • Use the heat gun at the recommended distance from the surface such as 4 to 6 inches and at 45 degrees for the best coverage.
  • When operating around materials like glass, sheets, tables, etc, operate the heat gun at a lower temperature to avoid damaging them.
  • If using the heat gun and scraper simultaneously is uncomfortable for you, then you should switch the heat gun off after heating the surface, put it down nicely and scrape the paint off then repeat the process again until you finish removing the paint from the metal surface.

These are safety precautions to make sure you dont hurt or damage anyone or anything while you are at work.

How to Use Heat Gun to Remove Paint from Metal

To remove paint using a heat gun, here is a simple step-by-step process you need to follow to do so. Heat guns melt the paint, causing it to pull away from the metal surface.

  1. First ensure you wear your safety wear, get all the place clear and well-ventilated.
  2. With the heat gun on, start at a lower setting and hold the heat gun a few inches away from the surface, moving it back and forth slightly. Warning: High heat can warp the metal. So begin slowly and avoid overheating the area.
  3. Once the paint begins to bubble or pull up from the surface, scrape it off using a putty knife or paint scraper. If the paint doesn’t bubble, slowly increase the temperature until it does.
  4. Allow the heated metal to cool down
  5. Clean it up with the mineral spirit

Ideal For: Targeting small areas and for projects where you plan to work in small sections.

Best Heat Guns for Removing Paint from Metal Surfaces

The Dewalt heat gun with an LCD display is one of the best around. It’s great in many areas and it has an LCD display which shows you all the settings and the temperature you are operating at.

It doesn’t only show the temperature but the digital precision heat settings also remember what temperature you last used it at.

dewalt heat gun

It’s not very heavy and it heats up very fast (30-45 seconds) and the temperature change is also fast (10-15 seconds). The temperature increments go for 50 degrees each time which is good if you want to warm something and not burn it, you can decrease or increase the temperature with the “up” or “down” button under the LCD display while seeing the exact temperature on display.

Another option is the BLACK + DECKER heat gun, which is much more affordable and budget-friendly in case you are on a low budget but needs to get the job done.

With the HG1300, you’re getting the dual temperature heat gun experience that you’d have on other higher-end models, at a very reasonable price point.

At 1000 degrees Fahrenheit in high-temperature mode, this model has as much paint stripping power as most other devices in its class.

Quick device cool-down is done easily using the built-in stand.

Its included 1375 watt heating element is one of the more high-powered you’ll find. That extra power does come in handy when removing old paint layers off walls.

Final Thoughts on Using Heat Gun to Remove Paint from Metal

While affordable and seemingly easy to use, a heat gun is a tool not to be taken lightly by anyone.

Make sure they’re always stored out of reach of any children and let older children know not to ever touch or play with them.

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